A Mad Fantasy Tea Party

This past Monday we had a spring tea party to launch our new Fantasy Garden Collection, a vintage inspired capsule collection and collaboration with New York based jewelry company Ciner. I don’t know if it is the recent release of Beauty & The Beast, spring in general, or the fanciful nature of this new collection but I have had a tea party craving for awhile now. Talented Charleston-based illustrator Daniel Velasco did our invites and we purchased teacups that doubled as party favors for all the guests and turned Candy Shop Vintage on Cannon Street into a tea room for the afternoon.

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Thanks to Ooh events, we were able to squeeze in seating for 18 people down the length of the store. We served Charleston grown tea from The Charleston Tea Plantation in three flavors – Charleston Breakfast, Peach and Earl Grey. Frampton’s Flowers provided some beautiful fresh ranunculus for us in shades of pale pink.

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Out tiered tea towers were brimming with homemade goodies from local bakeries and caterers – Hamby’s, Sugar bakeshop and scones from Wildflour:

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And one of the best details were the beautiful, hand painted unicorn macaroons from Mercantile & Mash:

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The centerpiece of our new collection, The Unicorn Fantasy Necklace:

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Our floral selfie wall was also a lot of fun:

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As were the unicorn horn party hats from Meri Meri party:

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I only slept about two hours the night before but still had a blast:

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Thanks to all who came and contributed to a magical afternoon in Charleston!

Holiday Sip & Shop in Charleston December 2

This is a test of your imagination… As I sit her trying not to turn the air conditioning on in my shop I am starting to assemble my Christmas card list and planning our our December events. How is it still 80 degrees in November? Luckily, Mary Mac of Print Charleston designed me the MOST festive little holiday cards this year to get us in the spirit even if we are a far cry from having snow.  In less than a month my shop in Charleston and all the neighborhood stores in Cannonborough-Elliotborough will be hosting a sip & shop the evening of Friday, December 2 from 5-8PM. Each shop and location will have its own festivities going on and our hope is that you will stroll from one to the next – so save the date!

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Here at Candy Shop On Cannon we’ll have a complimentary braid bar with the braid style of your choice. We’ll also be offering up free gift wrapping, snacks and festive holiday libations. Olivia even did a little test run of one of her braiding techniques on Rachel, our production manager. More details to follow later this month!

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Favorite Fall Cocktail: The Negroni

I recently went to the brand new Dewberry Hotel for drinks (where we partly shot our new Lookbook) and by the recommendation of a friend, ordered a Negroni. While I used to like sweeter drinks, I have started to embrace stronger, more flavorful cocktails that are not so sugary and this is just perfect. The hint of orange made me think that it is a perfect fall drink and I’ve since been trying them everywhere I go. It is a bit strong, so you could always top with a little champagne or prosecco to make it lighter.

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Here is the recipe, and if course this being a gin-based cocktail I would suggest using Hendrick’s Gin (my favorite) and possibly even drinking while wearing our adorable Gin Pendant Necklace

The Negroni

2 tablespoons gin

2 tablespoons Campari

2 tablespoons sweet vermouth

1 orange twist

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Cafè Collection Brunch

Earlier this week, I hosted a French themed brunch at our shop in Charleston to launch our brand new Cafè Collection which is now available both on our website and in our store. This tongue-in-cheek French inspired collection deserved a sweet, French brunch to celebrate its launch. Nothing quite takes the edge off of Monday morning like Rosé champagne and French Pastries!

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Cafè Frambroise, a wonderful French bakery in Charleston even had these darling Eiffel Tower shaped cookies:

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We gave our guests each a Charleston Girl Tote bag which are now available on our website and make a great gift:

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And we showcased our new collection, poodles, perfume bottles and pastries. What more do you need at a French brunch?

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I love the creative community in Charleston. We have such a talented, sweet group of women here who are all so supportive of each other. It really means a lot to be able to toast with so many of the bloggers we work with, as well as our friends and shop neighbors!

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And I loved seeing everyone rocking their Candy Shop Vintage jewels!

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Whisky sours were served even though it was 10:30AM, this is Charleston after all!

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Could not have pulled all this together without the help from my great team – Annie Reeves (pictured below) and Rachel Reeves (who could not make it to the brunch but is joining us full time next month!). They are not related by the way, just coincidentally have the same last name!

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Cheers and thank you to al the ladies who attended and made our brunch so special!

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August Cocktails On Cannon

We took a little break in our #COCKTAILSONCANNON series last month. Between our trade show and summer travels I completely forgot to round up our July cocktail, although our whisky sours were a huge it at the trade show during cocktail hour. For this August I got in touch with my vintage soul sister, Jess James and asked if her husband Joel, an author and acclaimed mixologist would be willing to share one of his favorite drink recipes with us. Jess and Joel (below) collaborate on a lot of events together where Jess hosts and organizes and Joel provides the libations. They even recently found this fabulous, tufted leather bar that they often bring to their vintage themed soirées in Wilmington, NC where they are based.

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photo: Leslie Koehn/Star-News

The first time I met Joel he was tending bar at Manna, my favorite restaurant in Wilmington. While Jess and I chatted vintage at the bar Joel made is some amazing drinks, including some kind of Earl Grey infused cocktail that still sticks with me. I asked him to recommend a good summer cocktail since at least, here in Charleston we’ve got plenty of summer weather still in front of us.  Here is the “Lotus Blossom” with my favorite gin of choice, Hendrick’s:

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The Lotus Blossom:

1.5 oz. gin of choice (Hendrick’s works well because it has accents of cucumber and rose)
3/4 oz. Domaine de Canton (this is a ginger-infused cognac liqueur) 
2 drops of rosewater
2 oz. sparkling mineral water
4 medium-sized chunks of cucumber
garnish with a rose petal or slice of cucumber
In a mixing glass, muddle the cucumber in the Dom. de Canton until the cucumber is completely smashed. Add the gin, rosewater, a scoop of ice,  and shake for about fifteen seconds (the dilution is important.) Double-strain the mixture into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Add the mineral water to the used ice, swirl for a second, then double strain it as well, snagging the last of the residual flavors.

Joel’s cocktails do not disappoint. And as you can imagine, tending bar, you hear a lot of stories from your customers. While he obviously mixes a good drink, his true calling is as a writer. You can purchase his book “Cocktails and Conversations” here, filled to the brim with incredible cocktail recipes and the stories that go with them. Cheers!

Candy Shop Goes to Market

We are excited to be at market this week in Atlanta debuting some new Candy Shop Collection and Charleston Rice Bead fall styles to retailers from around the country. We are located in Building 3 in booth 912 (Floor 4 in Fashion Accessories) if you are a retailer and looking to check out our collection come and find us. We’ll be there 9AM-6PM through next Monday…

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We’ll also be hosting a “booth party” this Friday during happy hour. Come join us for some fun cocktails and giveaways if you are in Atlanta or at market!

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The Only Whisky Sour Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

Last summer I had a trunk show in Florida on a Saturday afternoon hosted by my mother-in-law Mary Zahl. She made a bunch of really yummy southern-style appetizers (since we had just had our jewelry featured in Southern Living) and decided to serve whisky sours, since it is sort of a vintage cocktail. I had never actually had one before. I mentally categorized them as having gone the way of baked Alasksas and flaming desserts – food and drinks that were only found on the pages of long forgotten, dog-eared cookbooks and out of print magazines. You don’t see them around much which is really a shame because they are SO good! I’ve also noticed that both men and women enjoy them – nothing about them is too girly and yet they are sweet, sour and delicious. And the trunk show guests that day agreed, they were definitely shopping with a strong buzz. This particular recipe is incredibly simple and easy to mix up in a pitcher to leave out for guests to serve themselves – we now serve these at all of our events and I get asked for the recipe constantly. When it involves frozen limeade concentrate, you simply can’t go wrong. Just don’t forget the Maraschino cherry and orange slice garnish! Recipe below for the June edition of #cocktailsoncannon.

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

Cocktails On Cannon: Serve Yourself Whisky Sours

1 large can frozen limeade concentrate – thawed slightly and undiluted
 1 (limeade can) fresh squeezed lemon juice
 1 (limeade can) simple syrup
 1+ (limeade can) bourbon or whiskey to taste
1/2 (limeade can) of water to taste
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Serve with maraschino cherry, preferably with a stem, over ice, and with a slice of orange in a vintage glass. Makes about 1/2 gallon.

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

This is my favorite type of citrus juicer for squeezing lemons It works well, is powerful and enables you to squeeze all the juice out while separating the seeds so it is surprisingly easy to make your own fresh lemon juice. Of course, you can also buy it pre-packaged, its just a nice addition if you have the time.

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

Adding a little bit of water to dilute it was my only adjustment to the original recipe. I found they were a little syrupy otherwise. The other option it to put extra ice in the pitcher and if you leave at room temperature, the melting ice will slowly dilute it a bit. Either way you don’t need more than 2/3 a cup or so (or half a limeade can) of water and be sure to serve over plenty of ice.

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Cheers! If you enjoyed this and are not subscribed to our email list, make sure to sign up at the top right! We are only halfway through the year and still have six #cocktailsoncannon left to discover! Photos: Clay Austin Photography.

Your May Cocktail: All Grown Ups Are Pirates

If I peek my head out the front door of my shop at 9 Cannon and look right, I am staring at The Ordinary, hands down my favorite restaurant in Charleston. Housed in an old bank building, it is a high end seafood hall with a particular bent towards oysters, that exists in that wonderful place where fine dining intersects with every day (or at least sometimes weekly) eating. It squarely faces the point Cannon Street intersects with King which gives you the feeling that the second you leave my shop it is drawing you in like some kind of gigantic, oyster-filled magnet. I have tried most of the menu – every type of oyster, the fresh and slightly spicy tuna poke, the irresistible crab toast (with hot sauce) the Tuesday night lobster roll, the off-the-menu flounder ceviche… I have yet to have even a dish there that wasn’t completely amazing. But what’s also special about The Ordinary and what attracts the regulars as much as it does those making a pilgrimage from other cities, is their wonderful cocktail menu. The Ordinary bar is known for its rum-based cocktails like special daiquiris made with aged rum or their most popular rum drink, the “Call Me Old Fashioned.”

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I, however, had been stuck “White Lady” rut – the gin cocktail I’d been ordering there since it opened that was once on the menu then cruelly whisked away.  I’d been on a campaign to bring it back as I am not a big rum drinker – but Lane Becker, their bar czar (pictured below), promised me that this cocktail will be your (and my) “gateway rum cocktail.” Lane came to The Ordinary from McCradys, another fine dining destination in Charleston well-known for its well stocked bar. Lane honed his craft there before moving over to The Ordinary, lucky for us, and is now just half a block away from Candy Shop On Cannon.

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Lane’s cocktail of choice for this post: the summery All Grown Ups Are Pirates – a cocktail you can make at home (he gave us the recipe) but it might be easier to just sidle up to the bar at the Ordinary and whisper that code name – “All Grown Ups Are Pirates”  and try his version, especially since his homemade pineapple infused rum took 10 days to “set.”

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All Grown Ups Are Pirates

2 oz. House Pineapple Rum (Barbancourt 8 year base)

1/2 oz. Petite Canne Cane Syrup

1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1/6 oz. Fernet Branca

1 oz. Egg White

Shake without ice for 30 seconds, then shake with ice for 15 seconds. Strain onto fresh ice and drink quickly. Garnish with a slice of lime, Luxardo cherry and mint.

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The cocktail was light and almost creamy without being heavy (which I attribute to the egg whites). With all the ice and served in a high ball and especially with the mint garnish it was refreshing and summery. It didn’t taste strong, but after a few sips, midday and prior to lunch I felt ready to go take a nap in a hammock under a palm tree. Really it’s the perfect summer cocktail – you can certainly try All Grown Ups at Pirates at home, but I bet it will taste the best at The Ordinary Bar with a side of a dozen oysters. Thanks Lane & thanks to Clay Austin for the photos!

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Welcoming The Charleston Blog Society

One of the really nice things about having a brick and mortar storefront is that I often get to connect with people in person and not just from behind a computer or from my iphone. Don’t get me wrong, I love my social media, but there’s no substitute for seeing people in real life – chatting with the girls over drinks who have supported Candy Shop Vintage – and introducing my brand to new faces. So I reached our to Gillian Ellis of the Charleston Blog Society to host one of their monthly events at the shop, which happened to fall on Cinco de Mayo:

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So naturally we did a make-your-own margarita bar and dressed the shop up with some festive, Mexican flair, my Society Social barcart has been working overtime these days:

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Kelly Harold of Paper Meets Pearl came back for more cocktails and food blogger Jessica Scully visited the shop for the first time:

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Gillian (right) runs the blog society and was such a pleasure to work with. She also took all the photos and blogs regularly on her blog, A Coastal Bride:

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I’ve known Natalie, Caycee and Annie Reeves for a few years now and these girls have been such huge supporters of my business. I am very grateful for them! They are all funny, down-to-earth and smart and they work incredibly hard. I really admire them. While they often partner with larger, more lucrative brands from a blogging perspective, they are equally supportive of a smaller business and designer. Annie has even come to work part time at Candy Shop Vintage as our wholesale guru and I love the perspective her blogging career brings to work with me:

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And I enjoyed meeting Kendra, Tiffany and Shree and many more of the ladies- all new faces for me but so fun to connect with them for the first time. If you look closely at Tiffany’s (below, center) wrist she is actually wearing her original, vintage Rice Beads from her Mom!

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Cheers to all the Charleston Bloggers, new faces and old who make Charleston a sweet and fun creative community!

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(Above: Annie of anniereeves.com and Liz of The Charleston Weekender)

Celebrating #ONEYEARONCANNON

This past weekend I celebrated the one year anniversary of my shop in Downtown Charleston:

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A year ago, I was running around after finding out I got the space and pulling things together to try brick and mortar retail for the first time. With my jewelry line in other stores, I wasn’t sure that doing retail myself was something I wanted to take on, but I had always had a “building crush” on this little, 1940’s store front just off King Street. So when it became available, I thought, why not – this is my chance? I am literally not going to find a more perfect retails space. And one year later, my friend Mary Mac whipped up this cute invite for us:

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When I opened this store, I wanted to bring something new and unique to Charleston and create the experience anyone who is exploring a new city wants to find – something both local and whimsical they cannot find elsewhere. Charleston has plenty of wonderful shops – both local and “big box” type stores – but no one was really featuring my particular genre of high-end vintage costume jewelry that I love to collect. This store has also given me the opportunity to become a greater part of the Downtown Charleston community, for which I am very grateful, as well as showcase and sell my expanding collection of vintage inspired designs.

Retail is hard. It is like having a baby, it always has to be clean and fed (well-stocked) and you can’t leave it unattended for very long. I have so much respect for anyone who has owned and run a shop for any amount of time after completing this year – it’s tough! But I wouldn’t trade it in, I have had so much fun!

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So here are a few great snaps of our #ONEYEARONCANNON anniversary party I could not have thrown without the help of Liz from The Charleston Weekender pouring her One Hope Charleston bubbly that everyone was raving about (seriously – it’s fabulous and has a great, charitable component to it!) and the queen of cotton candy who pops up all over town, Arielle of Pure Fluff Co. Plus, I am very grateful to the dynamic photography duo Smith Photos + Ink for all the pretty snaps!

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Our sweet neighbors down the street, Sugar bakeshop, sent over these adorable and incredibly yummy, branded cookies:

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And having some vintage candy, particularly candy cigarettes, is always a must:

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Our colorful Charleston Rice Beads are some of our most popular purchases:

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But my personal favorite is always our selection of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, hand picked by me or one of our trusted buyers:

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My daugher Daphne almost stole the show with her ridiculous cuteness. Seriously Daphne, can you take it down a notch? I love her so much! She does not, for what it’s worth, like wearing jewelry yet.

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And these girls are my righthand gals. They both work part time at Candy Shop On Cannon – Rachel Reeves, on the left is also a surgical tech (which gives her a preternatural ability to assemble jewelry!) and Annie Reeves manages our wholesale accounts and works in the store, as well as has a fantastic blog under her own name (and no, they aren’t related, I just happened to find two employees with the same last name!):

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Arielle from Pure Fluff Co. even matched our two cotton candy flavors to our new Charleston Rice Bead colors – Mint and Rose!

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Thank you to everyone who came and also supported us throughout the year! Want to see more? Check our our Facebook page and #ONEYEARONCANNON gallery. Thank you for a wonderful year Charleston!